If you haven’t heard of Coastal Cowgirl, you’re about to. Over the summer, the trending aesthetic garnered 300 million views on social media and counting. It is easily going to carry on beyond a TikTok craze and into fall fashion thanks to the wearability of Western classics, from fringe jackets and flowy skirts to cowboy hats and turquoise jewelry. But turquoise doesn’t need a viral trend for a return to the spotlight, since it never left the fashion stage.
Dating all the way back to 5500 BC, Egyptian royalty worshiped the gem, believing it had mystical powers. In fact, turquoise was one of the earliest gemstones ever excavated by man. This opaque bluish-green mineral has long been considered a symbol of the heavens, hence its nickname: the sky stone. Turquoise also played an important role in American history, and we have Indigenous cultures to thank for that. For centuries, Native American tribes like the Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo have used the stone in art, jewelry, sacred ceremonies and trade negotiations.
This gemstone is so rich in history, and its magical prowess lives on today. In our current sustainable fashion environment, what’s old is new again, so turquoise fits right in. In fact, an investment in this stone may have great return, as turquoise appreciates in value. Each beautiful bauble is truly unique, never to be recreated, making it practically priceless.
Truth be told, Indigenous style has always been foundational to American fashion. Think of Ralph Lauren, with his iconic denim, cowboy boots, prairie skirts, fringe and suede looks layered with turquoise jewelry that have graced his runway since the seventies. I fondly remember admiring these outfits dripping in turquoise during New York Fashion Week. Of course, anyone living the Southwest lifestyle will tell you turquoise is as ubiquitous as a pair of sneakers. Almost everyone has some and showcases the gem proudly.
Every summer, we see a sprinkle of sky stone jewelry pop up, but the look is timeless and seasonless. To carry the Coastal Cowgirl trend into fall, you need just two things: fringe and turquoise. Enthusiasts will show you how it’s done with no limit to their layering, wearing countless necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. In short, more is more and less is a bore when it comes to this glorious gemstone. Have a beach vacation? Pack the turquoise with that white linen dress. Heading out west on a ski trip? Pack the turquoise with a shearling coat and a cozy sweater.
I have no doubt that turquoise’s colorful spirit and legacy will live on for years to come. After all, this special stone has been revered for millennia by ancient and Indigenous cultures, who recognized its special connection to nature. A gem that symbolizes the beauty of Mother Earth and the heavens above will surely bring out the beauty in each of us when we wear it. The sky is the limit for the sky stone.
Laura Schara is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and cohost of the television series Minnesota Bound.